National Interim Clinical Imaging Procedures

Closed 13 Feb 2017

Opened 5 Dec 2016


The National Interim Clinical Imaging Procedure code set (NICIP) is a list of codes and descriptions for the coded and textual representation of Clinical Imaging Procedures in electronic systems in the NHS.  Its use is specifically within imaging and related systems. The NICIP code set is overseen and endorsed by the Clinical Imaging Management Group (CIMG) which consists of key stakeholders across the NHS and also includes system supplier representation.

SNOMED CT[1] is a standardised, multilingual vocabulary of terms relating to the care of the individual enabling the precise, unambiguous representation of clinical information in patient records.  SNOMED CT enables information to be shared consistently within and across all health and care settings.  It provides richer data for analysis from information captured at source in the patient record.

The UK Terminology Centre (UKTC) within NHS Digital is responsible for the UK management of SNOMED CT and the NICIP code set.

[1] SNOMED CT (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms): SNOMED® and SNOMED CT® are registered trademarks of the IHTSDO® (


Why your views matter

The ‘Power of Information’[1]  published in May 2012 set out the strategy for care information to deliver a range of benefits to patients and the public through better sharing of information. A key enabler for that is the proposal to base coded clinical information on a single clinical terminology of SNOMED CT®. The National Information Board endorses the move to adopt SNOMED CT to support direct management of care and has stated that the entire health system should adopt SNOMED CT by April 2020.   This consultation is to help develop a withdrawal plan for NICIP with a move to the use of a single terminology of SNOMED CT and to identify any outstanding issues that may need to be addressed to facilitate this.

All PACS and integrated clinical information systems were required to conform to this standard from 31 December 2010[2].  The `interim’ code set was designed to bridge the gap until all clinical systems could support SNOMED CT and developed and maintained so that it remains closely aligned to the longer term strategic standard of SNOMED CT.  It has always been expected that this interim standard would be replaced with SNOMED CT.

There is a tension between the increasing requirement to share and transfer coded data safely across health and care organisations and the time required to migrate to SNOMED CT. There are now a number of healthcare systems available based on SNOMED CT with several of these systems having been deployed in organisations for upwards of 3 years.

The purpose of this consultation therefore is:

  • To assess the impact of deprecation of NICIP and migration to SNOMED CT and possible implications for any timescale for deprecation;
  • To identify any issues that may be preventing migration to SNOMED CT;
  • To identify requirements to flow data;
  • To identify practical clinical requirements for use of a single comprehensive terminology (between care settings/integrated systems)


For these reasons, NHS Digital believes it is necessary to consult:

  • Organisations who have planned requirements to exchange structured clinical content with other organisations (who may already be SNOMED CT users); and
  • Current users/providers of systems using the NICIP code set


The Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI) has approved this consultation exercise (SCCI is the body that assures information standards for Health and Social Care).

Who Do We Wish To Consult?

NHS Digital wishes to consult:

  • Users and organisations using the NICIP code set;
  • Organisations planning or undertaking imaging data exchange across different systems and/or outside their organisation whether they use NICIP codes or not.

This includes system suppliers, end users of systems, data collection organisations such as the National Registries, professional bodies, government bodies, and national organisations such as health charities i.e. any party with an interest in the use of structured coded clinical data.

The consultation is in four sections: some aimed specifically at users and others aimed at system developers. We appreciate that some organisations with in-house systems may be both users and developers.

We wish to consult widely and welcome responses from professional organisations on behalf of their members. We welcome comments from any UK countries and also from suppliers in other countries who deploy their solutions in the UK.

We request that respondents provide the details of the organisation they are responding on behalf of so that we can check for duplication and understand the context of the response.


We appreciate that some responses may be considered commercially confidential. Responses will be treated as completely confidential and only aggregate information will be included in the final report published on this consultation site. Any possible use of quotes will be consulted with those intended to be cited prior to inclusion.

However, if you would prefer to discuss any response or any aspect of this consultation, please email the Information Standards Helpdesk - – with NICIP consultation in the subject line and a call will be arranged. Any feedback arising from this approach will then be generalised and agreed with you before any inclusion in the published findings of the consultation.



What happens next

The results of this consultation will be presented to the Clinical Imaging Management Group (CIMG) who will consider and endorse a consultation report and recommendations for the Standardisation Committee for Care Information (SCCI). SCCI includes representatives from the Department of Health, Public Health England, NHS England, NHS Digital, NHS Improvement, CQC, NICE, techUK, and Professional Body specialists (via PRSB). From this report, SCCI will make a recommendation to the National Informatics Board.


  • All Areas


  • TRUD SNOMED CT Subscribers
  • Clinical Coding Professionals
  • Clinical Coding Auditors
  • Coding, Finance & Information Managers
  • TRUD NICIP Subscribers


  • Terminology
  • Pharmacy
  • Classifications
  • Clinical Coding